HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
Well, I think that was the case that they had eight that went up in the box and we were backed up. They were playing the run, and they just didn’t fit it right. That’s what happens. Usually when an offensive play breaks out there, someone didn’t do their job right on defense. That led to good blocking, but, again, it was a guy we didn’t block that should have made the play and didn’t. CJ (Chris Johnson) makes a good run, and that’s what you’re capable of. Those are the things that when you play a good defense—they are going to have emphasis on stopping the run—that when there are openings like that one, we have to do what he did in that game and get a big run.
(on defenses respecting
I think in situations teams will be aware of it. It’s only been three weeks. I think first and foremost it’s still always going to be make sure we go control the game by running the ball well. I think that’s always going to be the emphasis. I’m sure it is for the Jets. That’s pretty much how they play everybody; it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. So, that’s going to be the emphasis of that. They want to dictate, that’s pretty much how they do things. They want to control and do it their way. They’re not really a team that if you put three receivers in they’ll match what you do; they do it their way. That’s their personality, that’s how they do things, that’s how they’ve been successful. That’s going to be the challenge for us, to take what’s there, and to not force things but try to dictate it ourselves. If they’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. When the chances are there, we’re going to have to make plays.
I think what’s helped him a lot is that he’s not being asked to do anything but his job. I think the last couple years with having some young safeties back there with him that he needed to do more. I think it hurt him a little bit when he was trying to focus on what he needed to do. That’s what happens at all positions. When guys have to worry about someone else maybe a little bit too much and then you have a matter of seconds to kind of lock into your assignment, I think it affects how guys play. I think it’s harder for him not to. I think this year he has guys that are great communicators back there. I think it’s taken less off his plate where he’s got to get all caught up with the adjustments that go on or the calls from the sidelines. Having the different guys I think has helped him. It’s helped him play well. It’s early in the season, but it’s helped him relax and do his job.
(on getting off to quicker starts)
I wish it was that easy. You just don’t know. Just like the warm ups; you think you have a great warm up and you think your guys are ready to play and they go out and they’re flat when you have a great week of practice. It’s hard to tell. Give credit to the teams we’ve played that they’ve come out and find a way to make some plays then you give credit to our team for adjusting to what teams are doing. There’s pluses in everything, but you want to start out without giving up points no doubt. The bottom line is that somewhere in that game we are taking control of that game on the defensive side of the ball and limiting the offense. So, we’re doing a lot of good things. It’s just a matter of the timing hasn’t been exactly maybe how you’d like it.
(on the defense getting off to slow starts)
I don’t know. Again, it’s hard to tell. The thing is the points are down, we’re keeping ourselves in games. I’d rather have that than worry about when they’re scoring their points. If they’re going to score 17-24 (points), they’re going to score it somewhere. I guess I like better that as the game goes on we’re getting better rather than the opposite. If I had to choose one, I’d rather do what we’re doing somehow. Their points are down, we’re in a position to win all three games, and not have it go the other way where we’re good and fade and wear out. It seems like there’s more positives the way it’s happening than there is the other. I think we’re always going to try to have a shutout and them score no points, but that’s not going to happen very often. But, we’ll keep looking at it.
(on the importance of starting 3-1 rather than 2-2)
Well, it’s big because it’s an AFC game also. That always means a lot too because of all the tiebreakers that come up later on, but you’re not worrying about that right now. Again, it’s an AFC game, a home game, three in a row at home, you just want to take care of business. This is going to be a great matchup with a good football team. You want to win them all. You’re concentrating on this one; this is the biggest one of the year because it’s the one we’re playing Sunday. We need to find a way to win two. We need to learn how to find success two weeks in a row. So, there’s a lot of things that we can accomplish this weekend. We just have to play good against a good football team.
We hope he is, that’s the plan. He did get slowed by having the injury and missing the training camp work and the preseason games, but he’s rushed well. He had that great rush the other day when he beat the left tackle for a sack. That was a three-man rush, so he beat the tackle before the guard could help him—that’s how fast it happened. That shouldn’t happen normally, so that just tells you what a good rush it was. He bats a ball on a huge play when we were trying to get the ball back in the fourth quarter, so that was another big play he had. He’s a guy we’re counting on big things from. I think you’re going to see him step up and make plays as the season goes on. He’s just been getting better and better. He goes against
(on whether adjustments will be made given the 3:00 pm start)
No, but if it’s a night game we do change our philosophy and our practice times and things. We’re out here right now anyway at about three o’clock when we’re finishing off by the time we start (this Sunday). Other than the fact they get a little sleep I guess Sunday morning, that’s probably going to be the main difference. But other than that, our schedule will be the same this week.
He came out and practiced and did stuff. He did individuals and things but was limited. He’s still sore. We’ve got to see how he pushes through for tomorrow.
(on his thoughts on Rex Ryan)
I think it’s good for him. I think that’s how he does things. The best thing like I always say, you have to be yourself and do it your way. I think that’s exactly what Rex (Ryan) does. That’s how, to me, to be a successful coach as a coordinator, a head coach, he’s been to the championship game twice with his team, is to do it the way he does it. His personality, the way he leads…if he did it some other way the players wouldn’t respond to him the way they do now. I was around his dad as a coach. He did it his way and was successful doing it his way which is a lot different than Rex. I think that’s the key to it, and I think he does it well. In New York you’re going to get a lot of tension no matter what style you use. Coach (Tom) Coughlin is a lot different than he is, and you’re going to see both extremes played out in the media. I think he does a great job. He’s been a good football coach for a long time. Like I said, you can see his handprints all over the defense. They’re playing really well, and that’s a big part because of his involvement.
(on whether Kenny Britt will be able to play Sunday)
We hope so. Again, it’s amazing these last 48 hours how guys get better. We wish he could’ve done more today, but he didn’t. He was out here with his pads on, but tomorrow’s going to be another day to see if he can come back and do more reps than he did last week.
(on getting Kenny Britt back as soon as possible)
Well, I think, again, we’ve got a great group. We hope he’s healthy out there, but if not, there are other guys that will step up and play. You’d like to have your best players up and ready to go.